Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Healy’

Alex Mitchell and Peter Fryer. A tale of two journalists

November 13, 2011

Come the Revolution, a Memoir
Alex Mitchell
New South Press, 2011
Reviewed by Ed Lewis


Alex Mitchell’s memoir covers a big chunk of history, from the late 1950s up to a few months ago. Mitchell is a skilled and entertaining writer and the book is worthwhile alone for its vignettes of the 1961 Mount Isa strike, the early stages of the Vietnam antiwar movement in Australia and London, the Canberra press gallery, Rupert Murdoch as a rising young mogul challenging entrenched media interests in Australia, Mitchell’s training in tabloid journalism on Murdoch’s afternoon Sydney daily, The Mirror, his later experience in investigative reporting with the Insight team on London’s Sunday Times, his traumatic few days as a reporter in Biafra, his reporting from Idi Amin’s Uganda, in Ireland during “the troubles” and much more.

But Mitchell makes it clear the passion of his life was left politics, and the high point of his involvement in the left was his time in Gerry Healy’s Workers Revolutionary Party, for a few years probably the most successful Trotskyist organisation in Britain, with a daily newspaper, an extensive publishing program, numerous real estate assets, an active membership of probably several hundred and a constellation of celebrities surrounding it, including Vanessa and Corin Redgrave.

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An open letter to members of the Socialist Labour League and other Marxists

November 13, 2011

Peter Fryer

November 14, 1959

Dear Comrades,

The explanation given in The Newsletter for my resignation as editor was true as far as it went. But it did not say what had made me ill. Nor did it tell the members about the quite improper pressure that was put on me, through persons close to me, to try to compel me to return to a post that it had become impossible for me to fill. The methods used by the general secretary both before and after I left The Newsletter have nothing in common with Marxism, with socialist principles, or with the relationships that should prevail among comrades inside a revolutionary working-class organization.

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